Data science isn’t new, but the demand for quality data-retrieval has exploded recently. This week we are chatting with Murium Iqbal, who grew her love of data science into a career.
Murium began her journey as an undergrad at Rutgers University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on wireless communications. After a few years of studying, Murium realized that a concentration on data science would yield more professional opportunities in the future. She went back to school for her Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University where she studied electrical engineering with a focus on data science.
Joining ShowClix in March 2015, Murium has been an asset to our company by utilizing her data skills to find correlations between different marketing strategies and high sales volumes to predict future outcomes.
As a Data Scientist, you work to proactively fetch information and analyze it for a better understanding of how our business performs, as well as extract the knowledge from the data that can be used to make decisions and predictions. With that being said, what does a typical day at ShowClix entail?
I split my time across a few different tasks. I spend a lot of time setting up our Cassandra database and formatting the data for our specific needs. I also spend time researching technologies and methods that other people in the industry are using. For projects that are further along, I gather data to find trends or test out various models.
Where does your passion for working with data come from/start?
I like statistics, and I like math, so data science seemed like a good choice. Finding patterns and using them to represent and predict outcomes is fun, but I also like all the cool applications people come up with. You can get very creative with your data and find new interesting ways to gain insights from even old information.
What has been the most interesting data project you have worked on? Why?
For a class project I worked on using the Microsoft Kinect to translate some American Sign Language words into English. I used simple words like “thank you”, “dad”, “mom”, etc. There was about 35 words that the algorithm could recognize with about 85% accuracy. It was really cool to see it work. I liked the idea of working on something that could help people directly. Apparently there are several research teams around the world trying to create similar automatic video ASL translators!
What resources do you use to keep up with the latest data trends?
Talking with friends who are in the same industry really helps. Everyone can exchange ideas, and new technologies they have come across. I also like to lurk on www.kaggle.com. Kaggle is a data science competition site. I haven’t participated in any contests in a while, but reading other people’s submissions is a good way to learn new techniques and get ideas.
When you are not integrating multiple systems and data sets, what is something you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like cooking and baking! I search around for new recipes and like experimenting with flavors. Right now I’m trying to learn how to make Thai green curry. I’ve tried a couple recipes and am trying to find a combination of flavors I like. I am also a beginner rock climber, play video games, love to read and like origami! I am currently reading the MaddAddam series by Margaret Atwood.